Copiula Méhely, 1901

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Microhylidae > Subfamily: Asterophryinae > Genus: Copiula
15 species

Copiula Méhely, 1901, Termés. Füzetek, 24: 193, 242. Type species: Phrynixalus oxyrhinus Boulenger, 1898, by monotypy.

English Names

Mehely Frogs (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 89).


New Guinea.


See Menzies and Tyler, 1977, J. Zool., London, 183: 431–464, for revision. The systematic status of Copiula, outside of the area covered by Menzies and Tyler, eastern Papua New Guinea, is unresolved according to Zweifel, 1985, in Frost (ed.), Amph. Species World: 367. Burton, 1990, Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust., 114: 87–93, discussed the diagnosis of the genus. Köhler and Günther, 2008, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 47: 353–365, suggested on the basis of molecular evidence that Copiula is nonmonophyletic with a group containing Copiula obsti and Copiula pipiens forming the sister taxon of a group containing Austrochaperina derongo, and a group containing Copiula major forming the sister taxon of an unnamed Austrochaperina species. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583, confirmed this result. Dubois, Ohler, and Pyron, 2021, Megataxa, 5: 418, found Copiula (including the type species) to be basal and paraphyletic to the rest of asterophryines, except for Gastrophrynoides, and as a distantly related small clade deep in the tree, far from the base (composed of Copiula guttata, Copiula derongo, Copiula obsti, Copiula pipiens). Essentially, because so many of the asterophryine genera (e.g., Cophixalus, Sphenophryne, Asterophrys) were behaving that way in their analysis that they place all asterophryine genera within Asterophrys. Hill, Fraser, Gao, Jarman, Henry, Iova, Allison, and Butler, 2022, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 177 (107618): 1–15, with more densely sample taxa found Copiula to largely be monophyletic with the exception of Copiula tyleri which they recovered as deeply imbedded within part B of their polyphyletic Austrochaperina,0 and their Copiula sp. 7, which they found imbedded within Cophixalus. They suggested no taxonomic remedies but instead recommended that the specimens involved required more study. 

Contained taxa (15 sp.):

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